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Tips on creating two homes for one child

Divorce is hard on everyone, but it can especially be difficult for children who have grown up with both parents in a single home. As parents move out and work to create a new residence, there are some things they should keep in mind to make it easier for their child to adapt to the change. Helpguide.org states that one way to do this is to try to keep schedules in both homes as consistent as possible. This means establishing the same bedtimes, waking times, homework, meals and other daily routines in each home.

Consistency should also be applied to some of the discipline that parents mete out. For example, if one parent has stated that the child is grounded for breaking a rule, then the other parent should enforce that punishment when the child comes there. This not only shows support to the parent but prevents the child from pitching one parent against the other.

Parents magazine recommends that when the child first arrives for time with the parent, the process should be as low-key as possible. This reduces the stress from the transition and turns it into quality time with that parent through reading a book, putting in a movie or just talking about their day. Keeping regular supplies and items in both homes can also lower the hassle. Parents should plan as if their child lives there full-time, purchasing extra clothes, toiletries, their favorite books or movies, toys and other items.

Additionally, children need their own space and should have some input concerning how it looks. Parents can find this a bonding opportunity as they take their children to choose the wall color, furniture and other decorations. Encouraging the child to keep a photo of the other parent is another way to make them feel more at ease.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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